1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Contest Winner! Congratulations @kittie_pie for Bittersweet Reunion

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest Archives' started by GingerCoffee, Sep 8, 2014.

    Short Story Contest (161) - Theme: "The Corner of the Room" courtesy of @BeckyJean.
    Congratulations @kittie_pie for "Bittersweet Reunion." The writing was excellent.

    Send me a PM with your theme for the next contest. And we'll use it in three weeks.

    @Wreybies will get your gold medal to you soon.

    Competition was tough again and I remain impressed by the quality of entries we are getting in this contest. I haven't seen a bad story in a long time.

    Two stories tied for second: "Serendipity," by @ranjit23das; and "The Corner of the Room" by @BeckyJean.

    And I want to give an honorable mention to "Dark Corners" by @huskies. I thought the story idea was original and interesting. With a little more polish on the writing it might have won.

    Thanks again to the other authors that entered and all the forum members who voted.

    ____________________________

    Bittersweet Reunion (1,457 words) [Depressing content, including death]

    “That corner is all I have left. He lived a wonderful life, and he will be remembered by us all. When times are rough, I just need to look at that corner, and everything is okay.” She smiled as she thought back.

    “What’s on your mind Mom?” Sammy asked.

    Winifred laughed. “What isn’t on my mind these days?” She sat in her rocking chair. “This corner holds everything I love.”

    Sammy sat next to his foster mother. “What about me?” He asked playfully.

    “Aren’t you here?” She patted his cheek and picked up a picture frame. “See? All of my foster kids are here.”

    Sammy looked at the picture. A younger Winifred stands with her husband and three children. The oldest, a tall girl with blonde hair. The youngest, a toddler holding a ball. The middle child, himself, grinning at the camera. “I miss Leandra.”

    Winifred squeezed his hand. “We all do.” She put the picture back on the table.

    “I wish we could know why she left us.” Sammy hung his head.

    “She was too good for this world, sweetie. This is a cruel world, and the truly good people can't always handle it. At least she is at peace.” Winifred wiped a tear from his eye. She picked up a magnet emblazoned with ‘San Diego’ and a palm tree. “Remember this?”

    Sammy took the magnet. “I remember.” He smiled. “We never actually stepped in San Diego, though.”

    She chuckled. “We had a right good time anyway.”

    “Harry loved the sand.” He laughed. “Leandra was so afraid that he would run into the ocean and drown.”

    “Your sister was very protective of that boy.” Winifred put the souvenir down. “So many memories.”

    Sammy pulled his wallet out of his pocket. “I have one here.” He pulled a picture out. “Remember this?”

    She grinned. The picture showed Sammy’s wife in the hospital with their son. “I remember this. I was so proud of you two.” She sighed. “How old is he now?”

    He frowned. “Seven.”

    “Goodness, the time goes by so fast.”

    A nurse knocked on the door. “Mrs. Essleton, would you like to take your walk?”

    Winifred nodded. “Yes. My son will take me today.”

    “Okay. Don’t strain yourself.” The nurse disappeared.

    Winifred took Sammy’s arm. “Let’s not forget to see your father.”

    “Of course.” Sammy led her to the garden. He smiled at a group of flowers. “Don’t you have some of these in your room?”

    Winifred laughed. “I do.” She sat on one of the benched. “Forget me nots.”

    “They’re very pretty.”

    “Your father planted some in the front yard a long time ago.” She patted the seat next to her. “He said that they would remind me of him while he was overseas. They would be his way of saying, ‘forget me not’.”

    “That’s sweet. You never told me that.”

    Winifred leaned against Sammy. “Your father isn’t doing well.” She whispered.

    Sammy sighed. “I know mom.”

    “He doesn’t speak.” Winifred sniffled. “Why won’t he talk to me?”

    Sammy held his mother’s hand. “I don’t know mom.”

    After a few minutes, Winifred wiped her eyes. “Well, let’s get back. I have a few more things to show you.”

    “Of course, mother.” Sammy helped Winifred to her chair again. “Are you okay mom?”

    Winifred tousled his hair. “Sammy, baby. You don’t have to call me mom if you don’t want to.”

    Sammy frowned. “I’ve been calling you mom for twelve years.”

    Winifred frowned. “That’s right. I’m sorry my dear. I don’t know where my mind went.” She smiled again. “I want you to keep this.” She handed him a harmonica.

    “Why?”

    “It was George’s. Your father was amazing with his harmonica.” She pressed the silver and red instrument into his hand. “You learn to play it for your children, okay?” Sammy just nodded. “And, this is for Leandra.” She handed him a yellow yo-yo. “She loves doing those tricks.”

    “Okay mom. I’ll give it to her.” He whispered.

    “Tell her to come visit me. I miss her terribly.”

    Sammy nodded as he tried to keep the tears back. “Yes mother.”

    “These are for Harry.” She handed him two safety pins with bears on the tops. “I put these in his little baby booties. They looked so cute.”

    “Of course mom.” Sammy hugged his mother. “I’ll do whatever you ask.”

    She laughed. “I’m not done yet, Sammy baby.” She put three onesies in his hands. “These are for you and your siblings. When you three have children of your own, I want you to use these.”

    Sammy nodded. “Yes ma’am.”

    Winifred touched Sammy’s cheek again. “Take care of your sister. She needs you.”

    Sammy sobbed, but he nodded.

    “Are you okay sweetie?”

    Sammy hugged Winifred again. “I’m fine mom. I just love you so much.”

    She shushed him. “Do you need me to sing you a lullaby?” She patted his head.

    Sammy knew she wouldn’t be there much longer, so he nodded. “Yes. Just, please, lie down first.”

    Winifred nodded. “Let’s say goodnight to your father.” She walked to one of the beds in the room and kissed the pillow. “Good night George. I love you.”

    Sammy helped his mother into her bed and held her hand. “Please sing to me mom.”

    “Of course, my Sammy boy.” She squeezed his hand. “Hush little baby…” She closed her eyes. “Don’t say a word…” She took another breath. “Momma’s gonna buy…” And she stopped.

    Sammy cried as he held his mother’s hand. “Why?” He whispered to himself. “Why did you all leave me?” He wiped at his eyes. “Please wake up. Please mom.” He stood and held Winifred in his arms. “Please come back to me.” A nurse came in and touched his shoulder.

    “Sir? I’m sorry, but we need to work on your mother’s arrangements.”

    Sammy nodded. “Okay.” He left the room. “Her arrangements should be in her file. I’ll come back in the morning.”

    “Yes sir. We’ll see you then.”

    Sammy took the nurse’s hand. “Save all the stuff in the corner.”

    The nurse nodded. “I’ll see to it myself.”

    Sammy drove home in silence. Once home, he put his keys in the tray next to the door. “I’m home.” He whispered. The house was silent, save for the beeping of his answering machine.

    He pressed the play button. “Sam, this is Eric. I’m sorry to hear about what happened. Take as long as you need to recover. I’ll take care of things at the office.” The answering machine beeped.

    Sammy sighed and climbed the stairs. He opened the door to his son’s room. The bed sat in one corner, and the rocking chair sat next to it. He sat in the chair and shook his head. “This isn’t fair.” He left the room to prevent the tears. On his way out, he grabbed the stuffed bear. He took it to his room and pressed it’s stomach.

    “Good night Sammy Jr. Mommy loves you. Have sweet dreams.” A female voice spoke through the teddy bear. Sammy held the bear to his chest, and pressed it again. “Good night Sammy Jr. Mommy loves you. Have sweet dreams.”

    Sammy layed down, but when his eyes closed, all he could see was the crash. “Dammit. It’s all my fault.” He stood. “If I hadn’t decided to take that shortcut, they’d all be here with me.” He put the bear down and walked to his closet. “If we weren’t on that road, I wouldn’t be alone right now.” He entered the combination into his fire safe. “So here’s what I’m going to do.” He took the pistol from the safe. “I’m going to join them all. Leandra, Sarah, Harry, Sammy Jr., mom, dad. I’m gonna join them all.” He put the gun to his head. “I’m coming baby. I’ll be there soon.” He started to cry again, and he fell to his knees. “I’m coming.” He whispered, but his hand fell from his head.

    He put the gun back. “I’m sorry. I’m such a coward.” He curled back up on his bed and squeezed once more. “Good night Sammy Jr. Mommy loves you. Have sweet dreams.”

    Sammy fell asleep, and when he woke up, he saw a blinding light. After letting his vision clear, he saw his family. “Sarah.” He whispered. “Sammy Jr.”

    His wife smiled at him. “We missed you baby.” She kissed his cheek. “Welcome home.”

    ***

    “What’s the verdict doctor?” The detective asked.

    The doctor shook his head. “A broken heart. He just couldn’t go on.”

    “What’s his name again?”

    The doctor looked at the toe tag. “Sammy Essleton.” The doctor sighed. “Who do I inform?”

    “His only living relative died earlier the same day. There’s no one to inform.”

    “That’s terribly sad.”

    “At least they’re together.”
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    161.png :agreed:
     
  3. BeckyJean
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    BeckyJean Member

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    Congrats, @kittie_pie, on your win! I thoroughly enjoyed your story. It was thoughtful and heartbreaking and sweet. Good luck in future contests!
     
  4. kittie_pie
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    kittie_pie Member

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    Thanks everyone. I enjoyed writing this story, despite the tears. :)
     
  5. huskies
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    huskies Member

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    Congratulations @kittie_pie i really enjoyed your storey. Thank you @GingerCoffee for your kinds words they really mean a lot.
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.

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